|Trade mags are reporting lots of disruption due to the COVID-19 Virus.|
As you probably know, the world at large is being disrupted in several ways due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Supply chains from the Far East are behind schedule and fears are rampant that bicycle retailers will have little inventory come the Summer which is peak season for retailers in North America.
Events are not without disruption as well. The UAE Tour was cut short and several people associated with that event have been held in quarantine since. Apparently several Northern Italian classics are under the threat of cancellation or postponement. Thursday the news came out that the Strade Bianche has been cancelled due to fears surrounding this virus. Now word comes from the trade paper, "BRAIN", that NAHBS, the handmade bicycle show to be held in Texas soon, has been postponed until August now. Even Sea Otter is postponing their 2020 event due to this virus according to another "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" article.
While widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has not occurred here in the U.S., it is conceivable that large scale gravel events may also be threatened to postpone or cancel if that were to occur. It is something to keep our eyes on, certainly, but for now, there is little concern that this may happen. The inventory issues retailers will likely face is definitely of much greater concern at this time.
|To go "boinger" or to go "bendy"? That is the question.|
So I've had the unique opportunity to use some excellent vibration damping seat posts in the past, and now in the present, and I have future opportunities awaiting me as well. That means I am in the perfect position to give a "Seat Post Challenge" review. Here's my thinking so far coming into this.....
First of all, the obvious thing to assume is that a suspension seat post is the "clear winner". But is it? My experiences have been mixed here. Sometimes a suspension seat post, like the Kinekt, or the Redshift ShockStop, is a great thing to have on a ride. Sometimes it feels like a power-sucking tool of the devil. Besides the fact that these things weigh a metric ton compared to standard posts, which matters. Some aren't very friendly to seat packs either. So, a suspension seat post isn't necessarily the answer, and sometimes it is a negative.
Then you have the "flexible" posts. Posts made from carbon fiber, and to a lesser degree, titanium and then aluminum. These are much more familiar feeling, can handle seat bag mounting, and almost always weigh less than a suspension seat post ever will. (This depends upon how you classify the Specialized CG-R post) That said, carbon fiber, while strong, can break catastrophically with dangerous consequences. (No hyperbole here- it's happened to me.) Many folks don't want that possibility nor want to have to deal with consequences of a possible break in a carbon post out in The Styx of rural America. Obviously, metal posts have a more robust track record, but they flex even less in most instances, so you give up a lot of comfort for peace of mind.
I've got two suspension seat posts, (Cane Creek and Redshift), experience on two versions of the Kinekt, and the Specialized CG-R, if you categorize that as "suspension". I've got that PRO Carbon with Dyneema post, a Whiskey Parts post, and a couple Salsa Regulator Titanium posts around here. Plus several standard aluminum posts including a Thomson or two. Between all those, and my experiences, I should be able to come to some conclusions.
I've been looking into accelerometers for my iPhone to see if that wouldn't aid me in my quest to see what works and what doesn't. I've seen a few things but I haven't pulled the trigger yet. However; even if that doesn't happen, I'm going through with this. So, stay tuned for my results throughout the coming Spring weeks.
|The Noble GX5 will be sporting the aMTBer Smoothe Lube to start.|
I've got two bikes set to go now on the Lube-Off which was announced recently. The contenders are WPL Wet Lube, Lilly Lube, and the aMTBer Smoothe Lube 1.2.
The Noble GX5 will be sporting the Smoothe Lube 1.2 and as a matter of fact, it has had it on for a while already. I'll be doing a finishing up on time with that lube and then move this bike over to the WPL Wet Lube to get that rotated into the mix.
The Fargo Gen I will be getting Lilly Lube. Although the Lilly Lube says it can go over any previous lube, since it self-cleans, I will be stripping the Fargo's chain anyway and keeping a level playing field with regard to the other lubricants in this test/shoot-out. So, I should be started with all of this as you read this today. Look for any updates soon, as the time limitation is six hours, and after that a final verdict on each lube is given.
The "control" lube is still the DuMonde Tech lube which I am running on the pink Black Mountain Cycles MCD. I already have a couple hours on that one as well. Keep in mind, the chain was touched up after the last Lube-Off and has not had any maintenance since that time.
Check it out! N.Y. Roll models the new C.O.G. 100 hats which just came in Wednesday. Each participant in the event is going to receive one of these at either the pre-race event at Peace Tree downtown Grinnell, or you will get it when you check in at the event venue.
The design was put together by myself and executed by Bike Rags which is located here in Iowa. Check them out if you need any custom apparel for your club, team, or event. N.Y. Roll and I have been pretty happy with their stuff and customer service is top notch. Bike Rags is our supplier for the Iowa Single Speed Gravel Championship jerseys as well.
I have access to a few extras in regards to the hats. One is spoken for. I may have a couple others. If you really have to have one, make me an offer. I'll see what I can do. Otherwise this is it. We wanted to keep these special for those riders that committed to the C.O.G.100.
Okay, that's all for this week! Have a great weekend and get out there and ride!